Apple opens up for new Steve Jobs biography to shape co-founder's public image

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Apple executives like CEO Tim Cook were willing to participate in interviews for the new biography Becoming Steve Jobs because of the main author's connections to Jobs, and because the company wants to influence its co-founder's public image, according to an official spokesman.

"After a long period of reflection following Steve's death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew," Steve Dowling told the New York Times on Sunday.

"We decided to participate in Brent [Schlender] and Rick [Tetzeli]'s book because of Brent's long relationship with Steve, which gave him a unique perspective on Steve's life. The book captures Steve better than anything else we've seen, and we are happy we decided to participate."

Schlender and Tetzeli explained to the Times that they first approached Apple about the book in 2012, but were informed at the time that no executives would give an interview. The company reversed course 18 months later, something Schlender attributed to "patience and quiet perseverance." Schlender covered news about Jobs for almost 25 years.

Tetzeli added that while parts of the biography were fact-checked with Apple, and the final product was shown to the company, executives weren't allowed to have "any editorial input whatsoever."

Apple has become more open under the helm of CEO Tim Cook, with executives more willing to take part in promotional interviews and publish personal opinions via Twitter. In the new book, Cook in fact calls Walter Isaacson's 2011 Steve Jobs biography a "tremendous disservice" even though it was authorized by Jobs, featured prominently on the iBook Store, and was based on interviews with Jobs, Cook, lead Apple designer Jony Ive, and head of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. Isaacson also spoke with friends, relatives, and competitors.

Last year Cook criticized another Jobs-related book, Yukari Kane's Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, calling it "nonsense." A week ago Cue used Twitter to attack an Alex Gibney film documentary premiering at SXSW in Austin, Texas, calling it an "inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend" that was "not a reflection of the Steve I knew." Shortly after he tweeted in support of Becoming Steve Jobs.